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Publisher's Summary

What is a monastery? A monastery is a place set apart - a place to learn the blessings of powerlessness, and that time is not ours but God’s. Our home and our duties can, just like a monastery, teach us those things. The vocation of monastic men and women is to physically withdraw from the world. But the principle is equally valid for those of us who cannot go off to monasteries. Certain vocations offer the same kind of opportunity for contemplation, and provide a desert for reflection.

In 10 brief and powerful chapters, Fr. Ron explores how monastery life can apply to those who don't live in a cloister:

  • "Monasticism and Family Life"
  • "The Domestic Monastery"
  • "Real Friendship"
  • "Lessons from the Monastic Cell"
  • "Ritual for Sustaining Prayer"
  • "Tensions within Spirituality"
  • "A Spirituality of Parenting"
  • "Spirituality and the Seasons of Our Lives"
  • "The Sacredness of Time"
  • "Life’s Key Question"
©2019 Ronald Rolheiser (P)2019 Paraclete Press

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  • Adam Shields
  • 24-03-2020

Thinking about nonmonastic life in a monastic lens

Summary: Short book thinking about how we can arrange our lives to think about them as service to God.

This is a short book, about 90 pages and just under an hour as audio. It was cheap on both kindle and audiobook. Sunday morning I could not sleep and after putzing around on social media for a while I put this on audio to listen to as I sat back and closed my eyes hoping to fall back asleep.

I don't think I feel back asleep but I also need to read this again and it is quick enough I probably will later this week. Thematically, this is simple, some meditations from the head of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio about how people outside of the monastery can incorporate some of the practices and ideas of the monastery in a non-monastic setting.

There are good looks at being a parent and how parenting (or other relationships) primes us to sacrifice for others.  Also how there are seasons of life and looking at those seasons (or times of day) can be used to be thought of like the liturgical year or the prayers of the hours.

There are weaknesses to books like this. Monasticism isn't the same as life outside of the cloister. There are parallels that can be drawn but pulling at them too strongly causes them to break down. Encouragements to live sacrificially for your children or to think of the structure of your day as a form of prayer method are good for people that are not prone to codependency or OCD. There are people that absolutely shouldn't read books like this, and others that would benefit.

In a time when I have been having a hard time sitting down and reading heavier material, short books like this are helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Booklass
  • 21-05-2020

Excellent

This book is one I wish I had had as a girl...one to be read often. But, I have it now. It is packed full of spiritual wisdom and delivered with grace. It is beyond excellent.

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  • Jonathan R Brown
  • 10-02-2020

Excellent Book

I’ve already listened to it twice. This book is an encouragement to those trying to balance a Christian pursuit and parenting you children. Highly recommend!

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